Sir Rabindranath Tagore was an eminent scholar and prolific Indian writer in the latter half of the Nineteenth-Century and first half of the Twentieth-Century. The youngest of eleven children, he was born in Calcutta, India on May 7, 1861. His father, the Great Sage (Maharishi) Devendranath Tagore, cofounded the Brahma Samaji religious reform movement. Rabindranath's family, though Brahmin, was not considered ritually "pure"; however they were wealthy, landed, and brilliant. At an early age Rabindranath showed considerable promise as a writer, specifically of poetry. He gave his first public reading at age 14. Rabindranath then went on to write over 3000 poems, 2000 songs, including the Indian National Anthem, 8 novels, 40 volumes of essays, and 50 plays. In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, for his most famous work Gitanjali (Song Offerings), published in 1910. He subsequently began traveling widely in the United States, Japan, China, and Europe, spreading his doctrine of humanity's search for God and truth. In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore's desire for agricultural, educational, and health development in India prompted him to found Santiniketan (Abode of Peace). This began as an open air boys school and developed into a coed, multicaste International University, with a wide ranging curriculum. In 1906 Rabindranath sent his son Rathindranath to the University of Illinois at Urbana to study agriculture. Rabindranath, later in 1912-1913, accompanied his son to Urbana. In 1915 Rabindranath Tagore was knighted by the British Crown. Six years later, however, he relinquished his knighthood as a protest against the massacre of Indians who were demonstrating against the British Regime in India. Rabindranath Tagore died at age 80 in his native Calcutta, after a protracted illness on August 7, 1941. The majority of correspondence in this collection is between the two Tagores and Professor Arthur Seymour and his wife, Mayce Seymour. Professor Seymour was the head of the University of Illinois' International Studies program.
From the guide to the Rabindranath Tagore Collection, ca. 1900-1965, ca. 1910-1940, (Repository Unknown)